directed energy weapon
Definition/Scope: (JP 1-02) A system using directed energy primarily as a direct means to damage or destroy enemy equipment, facilities, and personnel. COMMON Laser/DEW weapons are two distinct categories - laser-guided or laser - aided weapons and pure laser/DEW weapons. Laser-guided or laser-aided weapons use laser for ranging, tracking, or guiding functions of conventional explosive missiles or projectiles. Pure laser/DEW weapons use laser and other forms of DEW to inflict damage to aircraft or its sensors (the aircrew’s eyes may be damaged). Pure laser/DEW weapons are not required to burn a hole in the target to destroy it. Simply igniting fuel vapor near vents or burning through fuel lines is effective as well as glazing cockpit glass so aircrew cannot see out. Inherently, laser/DEW weapons are of short duration, hard to detect, extremely hard to decoy or jam, and hard to kill. They must rely upon LOS and atmospheric conditions and have a somewhat short range.
Broader Terms:Active Denial System
Narrower Terms:electromagnetic weapon
Related Terms:free electron laser